News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 20, 2013

Tom Reck: NL Central offers baseball’s best divisional race

Tom Reck
Tribune-Star Correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — Checking the major league baseball standings, you will find that the closest race in either league is in the National League Central, with 21⁄2 games separating the top three teams.

Pittsburgh has been first for awhile but the Bucs have struggled in the past two weeks and may not be there much longer.

The Pirates snapped a five-game losing streak by winning their only game in three against St. Louis but won only one other game last week. They lost four times with three of the defeats coming in extra innings — 12, 14 and 16.

They began a series at San Diego on Monday and then will play four in San Francisco before returning home to face Milwaukee and St. Louis. St. Louis was a game back on Monday and began a series at Milwaukee. The Cards then return home to face Atlanta and Cincinnati.

The Reds were third on Monday and began a series at home against Arizona. They then face Milwaukee at home before going to St. Louis.

Atlanta and Los Angeles continue to roll in the NL. The Braves had a 151⁄2-game lead over Washington in the NL East and had won seven of their last 10 games. LA had a 71⁄2-game lead over Arizona in the NL West and had won nine of the last 10 games.

Two of the races are close in the AL while Detroit is up by seven games over Cleveland in the Central.

There’s a lot of baseball left to play. It should be interesting.

• • •

• Tom-Cattin’ It — The Indianapolis Colts looked good Sunday against the New York Giants. One key stat was that the Colts limited the Giants to 3 of 15 third-down conversions.

n Sullivan golfer Nathan Pirtle recently took an American Junior Golf Association event in Kentucky, winning in a playoff.

• U.S. athletes did well in the world track championships, winning 25 medals, more than any other nation.

• James Blackmon Jr. of Marion has opened recruiting for basketball coaches again. He earlier had committed to Indiana.

• Dustin Johnson is one of the young golfers on the PGA Tour who has done well. He says he and Paulina Gretzky will be married. She is the daughter of former hockey great Wayne Gretzky.

• Frank Beamer is one of the oldest college football coaches. He is 66 and begins his 33rd year as head coach at his alma mater, Virginia Tech.

n Two Lawrence North girls basketball players have announced their college choices. Junior Lamina Cooper says she intends to go to Purdue and senior Destiny Washington has chosen Loyola of Chicago.

• Mattoon is the pick to take the football title in the Apollo Conference. Paris will make its last run in the league and then be part of the Little Illini Conference.

• Texas is the No. 1 team and Penn State second in the preseason volleyball poll. Wichita State is 24th, Creighton 25th and Northern Iowa received votes.

Purdue is tabbed 16th.

• The Indianapolis Indians and Pittsburgh have extended their affiliation agreement through the 2016 season.

• Monrovia will be changing conferences, leaving the West Central Conference to go to the Indiana Crossroads Conference in the 2014-15 school year.

Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by email at or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN, 47802.